FIVE FOR FREEDOM: Coming Events, and Other Important Updates

The rollout continues for FIVE FOR FREEDOM: The African American Soldiers in John Brown’s Army.  If you missed me at Politics and Prose, you can watch the YouTube video by clicking here.  Earlier this week, I was interviewed on WOWD-FM, a Takoma Park, Md. community radio station. To listen, click here.

To see and hear me in person, come to Oasis, the lifelong learning program, at Macy’s Home Store, second level, at Montgomery Mall, on Aug. 1.  There is a small fee ($10) and you must register.   To do so, click here. Then comes Frederick on Aug 14 in a talk sponsored by the Curious Iguana bookshop, to be held at the Civil War Medical Museum.  Next local appearance is Busboys and Poets at 14th and V on Sept. 6, followed by the Enoch Pratt Library on Sept. 20.  Also in September, I will be interviewed by Baltimore Sun columnist for his podcast “Roughly Speaking,” exact date and time it will be aired to be announced. More to come after that. To see the full schedule, click here to view my EVENTS calendar.

This is a story from the past that is relevant today.

But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what others have said about FIVE FOR FREEDOM.

Margot Lee Shetterly, Hidden Figures author: Eugene Meyer has given the story of John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry new meaning and relevance by restoring Brown’s black collaborators to their rightful place in historyFive for Freedom elevates the names Newby, Anderson, Copeland, Leary, and Green to stand with Brown as individuals who were willing to sacrifice their own lives to rid our country of the horror of chattel slavery.

From David Marinnis, Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post Associate Editor: Finding fascinating stories that other writers miss has been Eugene Meyer’s calling card for decades, and he has done it again with this important and largely untold story of five men forgotten in the John Brown legend.

Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy, Jr., had this to say: A terrific read and an important book. Spanning nearly 175 years, Meyer’s deeply researched book shows how the lives of the courageous martyrs still influences the present day, and will likely continue to do so for generations.  You probably have never heard of Osborne Perry Anderson, John Anthony Copeland, Shields Green, Lewis Sheridan Leary and Dangerfield Newby. But after reading this book, you will never forget them.

In years past, I’d visit Harpers’ Ferry to watch a natural wonder: the powerful and turbulent confluence of the historic Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers. Now, Eugene Meyer takes us to a clash between slavery and freedom along the shores of that West Virginia town that makes those churning waters seem calm by comparison.

And a visit to Harpers Ferry will never be the same.

Kirkus Reviews said: “Meyer rights a wrong older than the Civil War.”

While taking every opportunity to share the important history in FIVE FOR FREEDOM, I’ve also been busy writing, and here are headlines with links to some of my recent stories in The Washington Post, Bethesda Magazine, The New York Times and B’nai B’rith Magazine.

The Slave Uprising That Maryland Seems to Want to Forget

The New Bethesda: Why Marriott Stayed

Washington Torn Over How to Grow Without ‘Breaking Up a Village’

Central High School gave up its building but not its spirit

The Mix Master

Monica’s Story


  1. Karen Ambush Thande on August 5, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    Congratulations on Five for Freedom. I’m sorry we didn’t get to talk before the publication. My great-great -grandfather Benjamin Gillette Hazel was an Oberlin friend of John Copeland and received one of the many letters he wrote in jail just before his hanging. I have a copy of this plus Hazel’s obituary which recounts the raid. He was one of the townspeople who joined the rescue in Wellington. It may be too late, but I’m most willing to contribute to your body of research.

  2. Stephen Pope on August 18, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    Thank you for sharing your research. I grew up in Pasadena, Ca near the city of Altadena, where, nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel mountains exists the small community called “the meadows. This community was access by a remote access road that was the only way in or out. I have always wanted to research the regional lore that this community was created by John Brown’s brother and freethinking friends of black and white colors. There may be some important memories there to be preserved.

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